Lake and Sumter Style Magazine
02:10 pm
21 March 2019

Singer B.J. Thomas to kick off Clermont Arts Center season

B.J. Thomas

Singer B.J. Thomas, who has 70 million records sold and five Grammy Awards to his credit, will kick off the 2018-19 season for the Clermont Performing Arts Center.

“An Evening with B.J. Thomas” is scheduled for 7:30pm Oct. 6 at the center, 3700 S. Highway 27.

Tickets went on sale Thursday, Aug. 2, at the center’s box office and, according to a news release.

Since the mid-1960s, B.J. has scored hit after hit and is the only recording artist to successfully rise to the top of three genres: pop, country, and contemporary Christian music. In addition to his Oscar-winning “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head,” he’s had 40 pop hits, 10 Top 40 country chart-toppers, and 15 gold and platinum records.

Thomas’ first hit, at age 24, was “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry.” That song ignited a career that included million-sellers “Hey, Won’t You Play Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song” and “Hooked on a Feeling.”

“We wanted a superstar to open our 2018 season, and we found one in B.J. Thomas,” theater manager Chris Dudeck says in the release. “His music reaches across generations and genres. We’re excited to share his talent with Central Florida.”

The Performing Arts Center has dubbed its diverse upcoming lineup a “Season of Surprises,” with imaginative, entertaining shows that include: “iLuminate”(as seen on “America’s Got Talent”); the radio play “Steel Magnolias,” straight from Los Angeles and featuring a star-studded cast including Emily Kuroda (“Gilmore Girls” and “Grey’s Anatomy”) and Cerris Morgan-Moyer (“Pride & Prejudice); and the Golden Dragon Acrobats.

Other programs in the 1,200-seat main stage include: “Journey to Oz;” “One Night in Memphis,” featuring the music of Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, and Jerry Lee Lewis; “Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana,” “Broadway and More,” “Clermont Comic Con,” and “The Manopause Boys.”

Holiday specials for adults and children will include “A Sleeping Beauty Christmas” and “Sleigh.” And back by popular demand is Pop, Rock and Doo Wop Live! featuring ’60s hitmakers Jay & the Americans (“Come a Little Bit Closer”), Charlie Thomas & The Drifters (“This Magic Moment”), and Shirley Alston Reeves, the lead singer from the Shirelles (“Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow”).

Chris says the center’s 250-seat black box, an intimate theater-in-the-round, also has a full lineup that includes comedy and variety shows on Friday nights and a matinee series, “You Are There,” hosted by Emmy Award-winning producer Charlie Grinker.

For more information about the full season, or to purchase tickets, go to or call 352.394.4800.